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Remodeling your kitchen can be a pricey endeavor, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. At Eastside Kitchen & Bath, we believe that with a bit of strategic planning and some savvy decisions, you can achieve the kitchen of your dreams without emptying your wallet. Here are some of our top tips to help you save on costs during your kitchen remodel.

Refinish Hardwood Instead of Replacing

One of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel can be the flooring. However, if you have hardwood floors that are still in decent shape, consider refinishing them instead of replacing them entirely. Refinishing involves sanding down the existing floors and applying a fresh stain and sealant. This not only saves money but also preserves the character of your kitchen.

Benefits of Refinishing Hardwood

  • Cost-effective: Refinishing hardwood floors can be significantly cheaper than purchasing and installing new flooring.
  • Eco-friendly: Reduces waste by reusing existing materials.
  • Preserves charm: Maintains the unique character and warmth of your original hardwood.
    Refinishing can breathe new life into your kitchen without the hefty price tag of new flooring. Plus, the process is quicker and less disruptive, so you can get back to enjoying your kitchen sooner.

Keep the Same Layout

Another major cost-saving strategy is to keep the existing layout of your kitchen. When you start moving plumbing, gas lines, and electrical outlets, costs can skyrocket. Keeping the same layout means you won’t need to move these utilities, thus avoiding significant labor and material expenses.

Why Keeping the Layout the Same Saves Money

  • Avoids costly electrical work: Moving electrical outlets can require adding circuits to bring your kitchen up to current code, which can be expensive.
  • Reduces labor costs: Plumbers and electricians are necessary for moving utilities, and their labor isn’t cheap.
  • Minimizes downtime: Keeping the layout the same can speed up the remodel, reducing the time your kitchen is out of commission.

By maintaining your current layout, you save money and avoid the hassle of extensive structural changes. This approach allows you to focus on updating finishes and fixtures, which can still have a dramatic impact on your kitchen’s appearance.

Use Stock Cabinets Instead of Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets can be one of the most expensive elements of a kitchen remodel. Instead, consider using stock cabinets, which are pre-manufactured in standard sizes and finishes. Stock cabinets are much more affordable and can still look fantastic with the right design choices.

Advantages of Stock Cabinets

  • Affordability: Stock cabinets are mass-produced, which significantly reduces their cost compared to custom cabinets.
  • Quick availability: Since they are pre-manufactured, stock cabinets are readily available, reducing lead times.
  • Versatility: With a wide range of styles and finishes, you can find stock cabinets to suit any design aesthetic.

Opting for stock cabinets can save you thousands of dollars and still provide a high-quality, stylish look for your kitchen. If you want to add a custom touch, you can always mix in a few custom pieces or upgrade the hardware.

Do the Paint Work Yourself

Painting is one of the simpler home improvement tasks that can be tackled by most homeowners. By doing the paint work yourself, you can save a considerable amount on labor costs. Whether it’s painting the walls or cabinets, a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference in your kitchen’s look and feel.

Tips for DIY Painting

  • Invest in quality tools: Good brushes, rollers, and painter’s tape can make the job easier and the results more professional.
  • Prep the surfaces: Properly cleaning and sanding surfaces before painting ensures better adhesion and a smoother finish.
  • Take your time: Don’t rush the job. Apply multiple thin coats rather than one thick one to avoid drips and uneven coverage.

By taking on the painting yourself, you can cut down on labor costs and have more control over the final result. Plus, painting can be a fun and rewarding DIY project.

Paint Existing Cabinets Instead of Replacing Them

If your cabinets are in good condition but just look dated, consider painting them instead of replacing them. This can save you a substantial amount on demolition, installation, and the cost of new cabinets.

Benefits of Painting Existing Cabinets

  • Cost savings: Painting existing cabinets is far cheaper than buying and installing new ones.
  • Less disruptive: Avoids the mess and inconvenience of a full cabinet replacement.
  • Customization: You can choose any color to match your desired aesthetic, giving your kitchen a fresh, new look.

Painting your cabinets can completely transform the look of your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. With a little elbow grease and attention to detail, you can achieve a high-end look without the high-end price.

Additional Tips for Saving on a Kitchen Remodel

While the above strategies are key to saving money, here are a few additional tips to help you stay within your budget:

1. Shop for Sales and Discounts

Keep an eye out for sales on appliances, fixtures, and materials. Many stores offer significant discounts during holiday sales or clearance events. Buying items on sale can result in substantial savings.

2. Consider Open Shelving

Open shelving can be a stylish and cost-effective alternative to upper cabinets. It requires less material and labor to install, and it can make your kitchen feel more open and airy.

3. Use Affordable Countertop Materials

While high-end materials like granite and quartz are popular, there are many affordable alternatives such as laminate or butcher block that can look just as good and fit within your budget.

4. Repurpose Existing Furniture

If you have a sturdy dining table, chairs, or other furniture pieces, consider refinishing or repainting them to match your new kitchen design. This can save you from having to buy new furniture.

5. Do Some of the Work Yourself

In addition to painting, there are other aspects of the remodel you might be able to handle yourself, such as demolition, installing backsplash tile, or assembling flat-pack furniture. Just be sure to know your limits and hire professionals for more complex tasks.


Can refinishing hardwood floors really save that much money?

Absolutely! Refinishing can be up to 50% cheaper than installing new hardwood floors. It also takes less time and can achieve a beautiful, like-new finish.

How much can I save by keeping the same kitchen layout?

Keeping the same layout can save you thousands of dollars, especially if it means avoiding major plumbing and electrical work. This strategy also speeds up the remodel process.

Are stock cabinets of lower quality than custom cabinets?

Not necessarily. While custom cabinets offer more options and can be tailored to specific needs, stock cabinets have improved greatly in quality and variety. They can provide a durable and attractive solution at a lower cost.

How difficult is it to paint my own kitchen cabinets?

Painting cabinets requires patience and attention to detail but is definitely doable for most DIY enthusiasts. With the right tools and preparation, you can achieve professional-looking results.

Is open shelving practical in a busy kitchen?

Open shelving can be very practical if you are organized and like the look of your everyday dishes on display. It also encourages you to keep your kitchen tidy and can make smaller kitchens feel larger.

Final Thoughts

Remodeling your kitchen on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style or quality. By making smart choices, such as refinishing hardwood floors, keeping the existing layout, opting for stock cabinets, doing the paint work yourself, and painting existing cabinets, you can save a significant amount of money. At Eastside Kitchen & Bath, we’re here to help you create a beautiful kitchen that meets your needs and fits your budget.

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